The Newseum in Washington D.C. will close for good at the end of this year due to financial issues, and when it does, it will put a piece of the World Trade Center antenna in storage instead of giving it to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum here in New York City, as Gothamist reports. The 360-foot television and radio antenna, which was located on the North Tower, has been part of the Newseum’s September 11th exhibit since it opened at its current location in 2008.
Opened in 1997 in Rosslyn, Virginia, the Newseum moved into its current location on Pennsylvania Avenue in 2008 to promote its mission “to increase public understanding of the importance of a free press and the First Amendment.” Some of its most notable artifacts include eight pieces of the Berlin Wall, the Unabomber’s cabin, and the top piece of the World Trade Center communications antenna. Despite its $25 admission fee, the museum has struggled financially, likely because all of the surrounding Smithsonian Museums are free. The museum’s operator, the nonprofit Freedom Forum, sold the building to Johns Hopkins University for $373 million at the beginning of the year but says they will continue to operate online and public programs while they look for another home.
During this time, everything from the Newseum’s permanent collection will be moved to a storage facility (items on loan will be returned to their owners). But as Gothamist explains, “when the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey donated that top section of the antenna in 2015, the agency specified that it, like all 9/11 objects they donated around the country, must be displayed in a public place.” The 9/11 Museum, which opened in 2014, has another piece of the antenna, and they would like to add the Newseum’s piece to their collection. A Port Authority spokesman told Gothamist that they will work with both the Newseum and the 9/11 Museum “to find a suitable new location” for the antenna.
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